The Secret Circle recap – 1×13: ‘Medallion’

Courtesy of The CW

As much as I’m enjoying this first season of The Secret Circle, there are times when I think it should be renamed “Pretty People Who Make Bad Decisions.” Oh sure, that wouldn’t really distinguish it from many of the other CW shows, but it just seems as though this particular group of teens is prone to trusting the wrong people, making poor life decisions and almost dying.

Let’s bitch it out…So last week’s episode was a series high (in quality, not ratings) as we got some traction on the whole dockyard fire and news that John Blackwell, Cassie Blake’s (Britt Robertson) father, is likely still alive. This week followed through on that thread as Cassie struggled with the news as a stranger forecast the reappearance of the witch hunters.

Said stranger is Lucy Gibbons (Lauren Stamile), the grown-up version of the woman that spoke to Cassie during her visionquest last week. Seems that Lucy is a psychic (and John Blackwell’s side kick). She’s been reliving the night of the fire for sixteen years, until last week when Cassie altered the imprint of the memory. It’s because of Cassie that Lucy comes to Chance Harbour (like a witchy version of Kelis’ Milkshake: Cassie Blake’s dark magic brings all the freaks to the yard. No? Alrighty then).

In a reveal that could have gone either way, Lucy turns out to be evil (she’s working with Sammi Rotbi’s Eben, the witchhunter that tried to burn John Blackwell at the stake). This was eerily reminiscent of ‘Darkness’ when Diana’s (Shelley Hennig) grandmother turned up, acted nice and then tried to kill people. Clearly one and done villains are in danger of becoming a Secret Circle narrative crutch. Advice to the writers: beware of the stranger-danger trope!

Courtesy of The CW

Of course, this isn’t half as tired as the fact that the circle perpetually trusts randoms at every turn. Just because they talk to you doesn’t mean that they don’t want to give you candy and shove you into a white van, kids! Even pre-schoolers know better than to trust every seemingly sympathetic person they talk to. Rule of thumb for burgeoning witches: Get to know people before entrusting them with your lives and if someone says that they know a spell for that, run the other way.

In fairness Lucy was playing off Cassie’s fears of the witch hunters. It’s strange to me that the circle continues to fret about them. Thus far we haven’t had any indication that the witch hunters are more than human and with their powers combined, the circle has power. As much as Adam (Thomas Dekker) is a fun-sucker, he makes a good point that if they just relied on themselves they would be okay. Of course that would mean that Cassie would have to stop running off with Jake (Chris Zylka), who seems to have a penchant for finding opportunities to tackle the tiny blonde to the floor (isn’t she twelve? Are we sure he’s not a pervert? Ohhh…she just looks twelve. Gotcha).

Since this is a magical teen show, everything works out in the end. Cassie realizes that snoozy Adam is right about Jake after the older boy silently admits to having killed witches. Lucy guts Dawn (Natasha Henstridge), but she gets hers when Eben gives her a red smile from ear to ear after Cassie kicks her ass out of town. And Dawn is okay because Charles (Gale Harold) heals her using the crystal he stole from Adam’s father, Ethan (Adam Harrington).

The final scene is both a tease and a cop-out: after going into a trance and almost tearing the house down trying to use the medallion earlier, Cassie finally gains control of  it to place a collect call…to her daddy. So I guess we’ll be seeing John Blackwell shortly (or now if you want to spoil yourself and see him in the advanced pictures here).

Courtesy of The CW

Other Considerations:

  • Ugh…the stupid Devil’s Spirit drug storyline continues this week, but it’s gotten even worse! Turns out that it’s not actually Faye (Phoebe Tonkin) that’s using, it’s lame-o lackey Melissa (Sarah Parker Kennedy). So let me get this straight: thus far she’s almost been killed, had her boyfriend die and then moped about it, been sent away whenever it is narratively convenient and now she’s hooked on witch cocaine? This girl needs to fire her agent and hold the writers hostage until she gets better material. Weak and boring. Next!
  • Despite her role in Devil’s Spirit suckage, Faye does get all the good lines: calling out Cassie for her “dark magic and daddy issues”, and suggesting that Diana invited a party full of strangers to Adam’s birthday to make him feel like he had friends outside of the circle. In true Faye fashion she closes the episode by having runner-up sex with Jake after Cassie kicks his ass to the curb (Cassie did a lot of ass kicking this week).
  • After reading interviews with Shelley Hennig previewing this episode, I was jazzed that Diana was finally going to get something to do. Apparently that translates into planning a super awkward birthday party for your ex (gay) boyfriend at the bidding of his father AKA the man who told him to dump you in the first place. I did enjoy how emotional Diana’s stories about Adam are (he told her right from wrong), though I wish she had of thrown in a “before that Cassie bitch stole him from me” somewhere.
  • All the Lucy drama is heightened because Adam keeps trying to come in between Cassie and Jake. The AV Club made a good point last week that Adam is a wet-blanket, so even though he was right this week about not using the medallion to protect the circle, he still comes off like a huge whiner. Of course, Cassie ends up coming off like an idiot (that’s why they’re perfect for each other). She keeps talking about how Jake has changed even though he’s only been back in town for a week and he previously tried to kill them all. For a girl with crazy amounts of power, Cassie definitely needs a bigger brain.
  • Best moment of the night: The absolutely hilarious dropping motion that Lucy makes after she stabs Dawn and waits for the body to fall. So random, but really spot on.

After last week’s excellent outing, this was a bit of a let down. This week feels very reminiscent of past weeks: the danger is relatively easily thwarted and half of our characters only have relationship drama to contend with. I wonder if I would be so judgy if I wasn’t also watching The Vampire Diaries, which goes for broke every week and therefore feels exponentially faster.

What did you think of the episode?Are you excited to see Daddy Blackwell? Sad that Lucy was a one and done? Think that the shaking house and horizontal tackling between Jake and Cassie has Freudian connotations? Sound off below!

About cinephilactic

cinephilactic is a university contract instructor in Film Studies. He is an avid TV watcher, particularly science-fiction, fantasy and drama series. His favourite shows currently airing on TV include The Good Wife, Breaking Bad, Justified, Hannibal, Game Of Thrones and a smattering of shows on The CW. He has a tendency to "hate-watch" particular shows and likes to think that his sarcastic voice comes through in his reviews, though sometimes he's just being bitchy

3 thoughts on “The Secret Circle recap – 1×13: ‘Medallion’

  1. Awesome review!

    Apparently that translates into planning a super awkward birthday party for your ex (gay) boyfriend

    I keep starting to hope that Adam will attempt to run off with Charles. And then I remember that’s another show. Even CW-ised gay!teen drama would brighten this show up.

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